Self, peer and group assessment
Self-assessment occurs when learners assess their own performance based on the criteria provided. With practice, students can learn to objectively reflect on and critically evaluate their own progress and skill development, identify gaps in their understanding and capabilities, discern how to improve their performance, learn independently and think critically. Examples may include:
- Structured formative learning – Using online quizzes that give students immediate feedback on their performance.
- Summative assessment – Providing a portion of the overall mark to the student grading their own performance.
Peer assessment is the assessment of students' work by other students of equal status. Students often undertake peer assessment in conjunction with formal self-assessment. They reflect on their own efforts, and extend and enrich this reflection by exchanging feedback on their own and their peers' work. With practice, students can engage in the learning process and develop their capacity to reflect on and critically evaluate their own learning and skill development. Examples may include:
- De-identified formative feedback – Ask students to give formative feedback on a number of other pieces of student work. The work should be de-identified so that neither the student submitting the work or the peer marking the work is identifiable.
- Rate or review student presentations – Use the audience to rate and review student presentations on a topic, either in a classroom setting or a presentation delivered on-line.
Group work is a method of instruction that gets students to work together. There are various benefits and challenges that come with preparing, developing and facilitating group work with teaching and learning practices. As an assessment task, groups often develop or create a product or piece of work to demonstrate learning and understanding of a particular concept. The assessment may be on the final product or understanding, or on the process of developing that product or understanding. Whilst the benefits of group work are well documented, the challenges of allocating marks and feedback to individuals within that group can be a challenge.
Group work and international students
One element of group work that requires explicit opportunities for practice is the ability to interact successfully with people from a range of backgrounds and experiences. The resources available on the Internationalisation of the Curriculum website can assist with ensuring that your students have opportunities to develop skills in intercultural competence and assist teaching staff with developing strategies for managing group work and the relevant assessment criteria.
Marking group work
Whilst marking the work of the group as a whole it can also be important to recognise the contribution of individual students. For examples of how to do this, see the Marking Group Work section in this document developed by Curtin University (719kb).
- Race, P (2015) The lecturers toolkit. (4th ed.) Oxen, UK: Routledge
- UNSW – Student Peer Assessment
- Curtin University – Marking (PDF, 719kb)
- Centre for the Study of Higher Education – Assessing Group Work (pdf, 388kb)
- University of New South Wales – Group Work
- University of New South Wales – Assessing by Group Work
- Eberly Center: Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation – Assessing Group Work
Policies and guidelines
- Federation University Australia Policy (LT1302), Higher Education Assessment Policy
- Federation University Australia Procedure (LT1254), Higher Education Assessment Procedure
- Contact your School’s CLIPP Learning Designer to discuss the learning designing needs of undertaking self, peer or group assessments in your course.
- Contact your School’s Learning Skills Advisor for assistance in creating quality student instructions and marking criteria to support the success of any self, peer or group assessments.